The Evans Repeating Rifle Co. manufactured Evans repeaters in several variations based upon designs by Warren R. Evans and his brother George F. Evans in the 1870s. It was tested by the U.S. military and some were also purchased by the Russian Empire. The early Evans held up to 38 rounds of ammunition, and the later examples still held an impressive 26-28 rounds in the integral magazine in the butt. These rifles received some renewed attention in recent years thanks to stunning high art examples sold by Rock Island Auction Company, including one now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the distinctive Evans rifle's inclusion in the award winning western video game Red Dead Redemption. Like Winchester, they offered carbines, sporting rifles, and military "muskets" and offered special presentation pieces to various popular figures to promote the guns. They manufactured both "Old Model" and "New Model Rifles." The company started to fold in 1879 and its entire stock was purchased by E.G. Ridout & Co. of Boston in August of 1881. The distinctive New Model Evans rifles with "EVANS SPORTING RIFLE" marked on their barrels are believed to have been assembled after the company went bankrupt by/for E.G. Ridout & Co. Most of these examples have the 30 inch round musket barrels fitted with sporting rifle style forends and have the sling swivels removed. E.G. Ridout & Company ran advertisements for Evans rifles with either 28 or 30 inch barrels and "saddle rifles" with 22 inch barrels in 1881 (see for example The Leavenworth Times on August 18, 1881). They made some rather fantastic claims about their safety and capabilities but did note that these rifles held more than double the number of cartridges as competing rifles. The advertisement included "unsolicited testimonials" from several western figures, including Kit Carson Jr. claiming "I have shot 60 Buffaloes at one run, and pennies from between my wife's fingers, at for paces." They offered a "$40 Rifle For Only $15." This rifle has a shorter octagon barrel than even the standard sporting rifles and carbines rather than a long "musket" barrel and has a full nickel plated finish aside from the casehardened components of the action. It may be truly one-of-a-kind. The barrel has a blued dovetailed blade front sight with brass blade and set screw, "EVANS SPORTING RIFLE." stamped in large letters on top, and a blued Evans notch and folding ladder rear sight. The Schnabel tip forearm is secured by a single screw and has triangular panels of checkering on the sides and an "88" inside. There is a "0" marked on the bottom of the frame to the left of the trigger. The bottom of the lower buttstock panel has traces of where a sling swivel was mounted. The version has the tail end of the lever curled forwards and no thumb screw catch.
Very fine with 95% plus of the period retailer nickel plated finish remaining, some minor edge wear and scratches, strong blue finish on the sights, 40% original case colors remain on the action components (especially in the protected areas), and distinct "EVANS SPORTING RIFLE." marking. The forearm is fine and has distinct checkering, a small split in the forend tip, and minor dings and scratches. The buttstock sections are very fine and have light overall wear mainly consisting of some scratches and dings. Mechanically excellent. This is a rare and stunning Evans Sporting Rifle variant from a very noteworthy collection. You'll likely never see another one like this again!
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